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Spaced Retrieval Technique

Megan Malone, M.A.,CCC-SLP

July 12, 2010

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Question

Can you describe what the Spaced Retrieval technique is and who would benefit from this technique?

Answer

The Spaced Retrieval technique (SR) is a memory technique that assists persons with cognitive impairment in recalling information over progressively longer intervals of time. It capitalizes on the procedural memory system to allow individuals to recall important information, such as names of family members, safety strategies, such as remembering to lock wheelchair brakes prior to standing or recalling to tuck one's chin prior to swallowing and orientation information, such as a room number or using or checking a calendar regularly. It has been researched extensively by both U.S. and international investigators and has been effective in helping patients diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, traumatic brain injury, and persons living with HIV. There is a screening measure for SR that can predict how well a person can learn using this technique and many patients with varying diagnoses have been able to perform well on it, indicating that many different individuals can benefit from the use of spaced retrieval to improve their memory/recall ability. For more information on this unique and evidenced-based intervention, please view these courses: "Adapting Client Treatment to LTC", "Being an Effective Home Health SLP" and "Functional Therapy Ideas".

To learn more about cognitive impairement/neurogenics and a variety of other topics in the field, please visit the SpeechPathology.com Library to view our live, recorded and text-based courses.

Megan Malone is a speech-language pathologist working for Gentiva Health Services. She previously worked for 9 years as a senior research associate and lead trainer at Myers Research Institute, in Cleveland, OH where she oversaw federally/privately funded grants focused on implementing interventions with older adults with dementia. She has spoken numerous times at the annual conventions of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association, Gerontological Society of America, American Society on Aging, and the Alzheimer's Association, along with several state speech-language-hearing conventions.

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